NPR Poetry Month Kicks Off With Your Twitter Submissions

Apr 1, 2017
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's April 1, but this is no joke. It's time for our annual Twitter poetry call out. In honor of National Poetry Month, we are inviting you to tweet us your poems with the hashtag #NPRpoetry. And here's a haiku to kick it off (reading) replies on Twitter of poems to consider here on ATC.

OK. You know Liz Baker wrote that. Anyhow, we issued the invitation last week to get the creative juices flowing, and we'll share one of our favorites in just a minute. But first, here's a quick recap of what we're looking for. We really do want a single tweet. That means 140 characters or less. We've been captivated by a few submissions only to realize that the tweet is actually a stanza of a longer poem. We'll let it slide this week because we're just getting started, but, please, we are looking for your original poems that are complete in one tweet.

Another trend we've noticed - people are sending us poems they've illustrated or drawn over photos. We love the creativity, but this is radio - so yeah. But if it meets the character count, we'll keep it in the mix. And one final note here - and this is the honor system - your original work only please. Only tweet it if you wrote it. Now without further ado, here's Alison Gilchrist, a graduate student in Boulder, Colo.

ALISON GILCHRIST: Biology's not so poetic. It's filled with words like hematopoietic. What's a poet to do when she's a scientist, too, and stuck with deoxyribonucleic?

MARTIN: She tweeted (reading) I'm not going to quit my day job, but this was fun to write.

GILCHRIST: In graduate school, I've learned that it can be really hard to write in the sciences because there's so much jargon to avoid if you don't want to be completely inaccessible to a general audience. So I wanted to write about how hard it is to be a poet when all of your words are eight or more syllables long.

MARTIN: And you know these poems go by so fast. So let's hear Alison's poem again.

GILCHRIST: Biology's not so poetic. It's filled with words like hematopoietic. What's a poet to do when she's a scientist, too, and stuck with deoxyribonucleic?

MARTIN: In case you were wondering, hematopoietic refers to blood stem cells in the bone marrow, and you probably know deoxyribonucleic acid by its less than poetic name DNA.

We'll be back with more Twitter poems tomorrow. If you want to hear your work on the program, tweet us submissions under the hashtag #NPRpoetry. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.